CHAPTER VIII
FAMILY AND CLAN

HAVING watched the progress of the individual through the successive stages of his life, we may now ask what the group was like to which he belonged, and what was the nature of his relations to the other members of his family. Here we are treading to a considerable extent on familiar ground enough, for, since the publication of Maine Ancient Law, a type of family life much older and a good deal nearer primitive conditions than that existing to-day in Europe and America is familiar to the educated public generally. Moreover, one need not be a classical scholar to have heard of the powers of the Roman father, and the extent to which the rest of the household, wife, children and slaves, were subject to his will and governed by his authority. The Roman lawyers themselves noted this feature of their culture, the patria potestas, as characteristic and not exactly paralleled in any other civilization of which they had any knowledge; although if they had been better acquainted with India, they might have found something very like it there.

To review very briefly what Maine has said excellently and at adequate length, the Roman household of early days, and in all probability the household of other Italian communities, was of the type known as the undivided family. So long as the house-father

-159-

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Primitive Culture in Italy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Chapter I - Introductory 1
  • Notes on Chapter I 20
  • Chapter II - Race, Religion and Culture 22
  • Notes on Chapter II 41
  • Chapter III - The Gods 42
  • Notes on Chapter IIi 61
  • Chapter IV - Worship and Magic 63
  • Notes on Chapter IV 85
  • Chapter V - Worship and Magic (continued): The Calendar 87
  • Notes on Chapter V 110
  • Chapter VI - Tabus, Priests, and Kings 111
  • Notes on Chapter VI 130
  • Chapter VII - Their Exits and Their Entrances 131
  • Notes on Chapter VIi 158
  • Chapter VIII - Family and Clan 159
  • Notes on Chapter VIii 179
  • Chapter IX - The Law. I. Crimes and Torts 180
  • Notes on Chapter IX 201
  • Chapter X - The Law. II. Property; Public Opinion; Status, Etc. 203
  • Notes on Chapter X 224
  • Chapter XI - Some Negative Considerations. Conclusion 226
  • Notes on Chapter XI 242
  • Bibliography 244
  • Index 247
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